by Juris Bunkis, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Valentine was a common name in Late Antiquity – there are 14 Roman Catholic Saint Valentines. Historians have narrowed down the tradition to one of two Saint Valentine martyrs who were preaching the good word in Rome in the third century. One of these two was martyred on February 14, 269, thus giving us the date for his eponymous day.
The first connection between Valentine’s Day and love was provided by English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in his poem, Parlement of Foules, written in the late 14th century. He basically chose words to make his lines rhyme, but the tradition stuck, and today, around the globe, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a day to express love – to your significant others, your children, classmates, parents and so forth. Hallmark did not start Valentine’s Day but it definitely benefits from this day and has promoted celebrating it, as have companies that sell chocolates, flowers and jewelry, who benefit to the tune of billions of dollars each year from this day.
Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – Options for sensuous lips
By Juris Bunkis, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Researchers have shown that men are more drawn to a woman’s lips than any other facial feature! The mouth is a messenger in many ways, conveying emotions such as happiness, sadness or bewilderment, a smile or a frown. But let’s be fair – men’s lips can similarly be sensual and convey emotion. A sexy female lip has a healthy Cupid’s bow and pout, the front teeth should be visible below the upper lip for two to four millimeters and the lower teeth should not be visible when your lips are barely open. Babies are usually born with gorgeous lips – but as we age, the upper lip lengthens and drops over the front teeth, lines develop and plumpness diminishes.
At the same time, the lower lip sags and exposes the lower teeth. Both lips will thin with age, and especially in women, vertical lines form around the mouth. The corners of the mouth also drop and Marionette lines develop. If you want healthy and plump lips, the first thing to do is to keep them moisturized. Use a good lip balm with sun block to protect your lips from the effects of solar rays. And of course, you can enhance your lips with a lip gloss or lipstick to give them that extra boost! But what can you do when this is not enough to give you the youthful look you seek?
The solution depends on your concerns. Fullness can be enhanced with a variety of commercially available hyaluronic acid fillers (such as Restylane Kysse® or Juvederm®) or with your own fat via a microfat grafting procedure. This is an example of a 26-year-old female whose lips I enhanced with Restylane®
Fillers can also be used to fill a deflated lip and lessen the appearance of lines around the mouth, as in this 47-year-old female I injected with her own fat into her upper and lip areas.
A number of different surgical procedures can be performed to give the lips a more youthful look. Upper lip lifting procedures, which will expose more of the upper teeth, can be performed by excising a strip of skin just below the bottom of the nose, hiding the incision along the junction between the top of the lip and the nose. The pictures below demonstrate a lip lift I performed in conjunction with a secondary facelift in a 75-year-old female – the lip lift dramatically helps rejuvenate the face and enhances the result produced by the facelift.
To correct a downward turn of the corners of the mouth, a grin lift can be performed. Vermillion advancement flaps inside the lips can be performed to increase the amount of red mucosa showing and to plump the lips. And finally, those pesky lines around the mouth can be helped with fillers, or more permanently, with a chemical peel or laser resurfacing procedure.
In this final patient, a 62 year old female, I combined a microfat grafting procedure to the lips, nasolabial folds, Marionette lines and cheeks, with a phenol peel resurfacing around the mouth to give her this rejuvenated look.
So, here I presented a few options for you to consider to achieve a more youthful lip area, the most sensuous part of the face.